TEACHING UNION CRITICISES LOSS OF SUPPORT FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PUPILS

The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, representing 8500 secondary teachers in Scotland, today criticised the withdrawal of education support from some pupils who are diagnosed as having special education needs and have identified support requirements.

The SSTA General Secretary, Ann Ballinger, today criticised the loss of dedicated auxiliary support from such pupils.

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"It is only relatively recently that many of the young people involved lost their principal educational resource when their special school was closed under the guise of "inclusion" which was no more than a cost saving exercise. Only a few years later, the same pupils face a further reduction as many local authorities, again for financial reasons, reduce or withdraw the level of their teaching auxiliary support. Not only do the pupils suffer the obvious deterioration in their education but class teachers now inevitably spending more time with them. The consequence is, of course, a reduction in the amount of time spend with mainstream pupils."

Highlighting the reasons for the financial problems Mrs Ballinger added "Much of the cause is the so called concordat between Central Government and Scottish Local Authorities which has already in other areas been recognised as a barrier to progress. It is now time for the Government to act, insisting that previous support standards (already very minimal in some schools) are retained."

"Authorities are required to implement agreed individual support plans for such pupils. It is pointless to spend so much time in the drawing up of such plans in the full knowledge that the resources required for their implementation do not exist.

Published on 30 December 2009 - Press Releases
SSTA

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